The characters in Chitra Divakaruni’s One Amazing Thing share something in common: their desire to travel. But for me one character really stands out—Uma, an American-born Indian who, along with the other travelers, hangs around in San Francisco for her permit to take a trip to India. I like her character because she is described not just a typical college student, but one who is witty, imaginative, and reflective. Her imagination runs wild while she is waiting at the Indian consulate. She mostly imagines the life stories of the people she sees. Divakaruni described her in this way: “She had always been this way: interested—quite unnecessarily, some would say—in the secret of strangers”. I can somewhat relate to Uma because I, as well, especially when alone and drinking coffee, imagine what kind of lives do the people who pass me by have. It is somewhat a way of reconnecting to these strangers.
Uma also possesses a strong sense of intuition and receptiveness. She senses the feelings of the other travelers, especially their need to share something that will reinvigorate their dampened emotions and give them hope. This special skill of Uma is illustrated in the following passage: “Cameron switched off both flashlights. But in spite of the claustrophobic dark that fell on them, Uma sensed a new alertness in her companions, a shrugging off of things they couldn’t control”